A good line from Megan McArdle of The Atlantic Monthly regarding a piece in the New York Times which quotes people happy about the potential decline of New York’s real estate market:

This is perhaps why I have so little sympathy for the princes of schadenfreude in this New York Times article , who are hoping that Wall Street will collapse, allowing them to buy Manhattan apartments. Bizarrely, despite the fact that all of them seem to work in some service associated with the finance industry, they seem entirely unaware that if the financial industry in New York collapses, their employers will suffer the same fate. They also seem not to realize that it is the taxes from the banking industry (and its lavish, ridiculous bonuses) that finance Manhattan’s low crime rate and excellent public services. Not to mention the restaurants, theaters, and so forth that make them want to live in Manhattan in the first place.

If they wanted to live in the New York that I liked—the one with the Dominicans hanging out on the street corner, the little hole-in-the-wall pizza joints and the improbable shops with ancient leases that sold scavenged junk alongside ticky-tack imports—well then, I could understand their celebration. But they want to live in the New York that the bankers created without the bankers. This is like wanting to go to heaven, but not wanting to die.

The full piece is here .

Articles by Nathaniel Peters

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